When news got out of Disney’s newest live-action remake, Beauty and the Beast, everyone was very excited. The trailers hit YouTube, and the appearance of Emma Watson brought out everyone’s inner Harry Potter fan as they anticipated how the famous actress would play the role of a Disney princess. The reviews were mixed, however this is the opinion of yours truly.
The prologue was very similar to the original, though it filled certain plot holes and explained key information left out of the original. The opening scenes and the famous song Belle showed different aspects of the characters from the original 1992 movie, and was the first introduction of Emma Watson’s (slightly auto-tuned) singing. She was a charming, British Belle, and Emma Watson’s dynamic as Belle worked well with the movie.
Other characters were fleshed out and made to be more interesting. Josh Gad, who played LeFou, brought personality and humor to the otherwise boring character, and created the first openlyy gay Disney character. Of course, that explained why the man was so obsessed with Gaston. Luke Evans in turn strengthened Gaston’s attraction to Belle and friendship with LeFou. There was clever wordplay and funny writing scripted in for both Gaston and LeFou’s characters, which were delivered brilliantly by their actors.
The characters in the Beast’s castle are interesting as well. The objects that come to life had been created to be extremely elaborate and look a little more like things found in the household of a rich, arrogant prince. New mysterious twists were added to the prince’s curse and the enchanted rose. Lumiere (Ewan McGregor), Cogsworth (Ian McKellen), Mrs. Potts (Emma Thompson), and Chip (Nathan Mack) were all done in new ways but, like Gaston, LeFou, and Belle, retained all the important aspects. The Beast (Dan Stevens) was adapted to be both educated and humorous, and him and Belle strongly bonded over literature. A few new songs were added, including numbers Days in the Sun, Evermore, and How Does a Moment Last Forever. The story had skillful fights, romance, action, mystery, music, humor, and, above all, the underlying message: Don’t judge a book by its cover.
To all fans of Disney, Emma Watson, or just movies with magic and adventure, this movie is for you.